The “tip-of-the-iceberg” is a useful analogy. It's especially applicable to the decision making process when considering an update your dental practice management software.
Everything above the surface points to your dental practice workflows and systems that drive daily patient care. But you might be facing several unseen - below the surface - required processes that were previously postponed due to inadequate software.
Updating your dental practice management software is one way to flip the analogy in your favor. Look at your decision from two vantage points.
- The “tip-of-the-iceberg” = a robust practice management platform
- What’s “below-the-surface” = your practice management platform capabilities
When to update your dental practice management software is about increasing capacity
Who could have predicted the changes in dentistry that COVID-19 introduced? One thing is certain - the pandemic (as with many challenges) introduced innovative approaches to patient care.
- Increased awareness about infection control and PPE
- Virtual (contactless) patient portals and digital communication
- Curbside check-in protocols
- Paperless (digital) patient tools (e.g. smart devices and tablets)
- Electronic prescriptions
These are a few of the new realities that you’ve had to introduce or strongly consider doing so in the weeks ahead.
Is your dental practice management platform capable of adapting to the increased capacity forced by the pandemic and whatever else lurks over the horizon.
Not to be alarmist…but being able to pivot now and in the future is among the reasons to update your dental practice management software.
Core questions to ask as you think about when to update your dental practice management software
Remember, what’s on the surface must have the capacity to handle the unseen innovative and operational tasks below the waterline. A few simple questions can help clarify your goals before making an investment.
1. Is the current version of your dental practice management software up to date?
Like app updates on your smart device it’s easy to keep a software update in queue. The reality is that you could be diminishing your software’s capacity to meet current demand - patient care or innovative ideas.
Even so, an upgrade might be the better than an update at this point.
For example, the amount of paper you handle is a good measure of your current workflows as relates to your software capabilities.
If you want to electronically file insurance claims but find that your business team reflexively reaches for an envelope and stamp perhaps an upgrade is overdue.
If your business team is having to invest more phone time correcting claim issues or mistakes on mailed forms perhaps the same applies.
This is but one pinch-point. But the more time intensive a routine task the more relevant an upgrade consideration.
2. How efficient is your billing process with your current dental practice management software?
Your billing efficiency will often be driven by your level of insurance reliance. Claims submission via direct access on insurance company websites is a time-drain.
The ability to submit e-claims or e-attachments from within your own platform will increase efficiency…and your reimbursement pace. This is a good platform evaluation point in the context of entertaining an upgrade.
3. What is the electronic delivery capability of your current dental practice management platform?
The amount of information you distribute to patients can help you evaluate your system’s digital communication capabilities. Start with your protocols for patient recalls and scheduled appointment confirmations.
You’re aware that new patient acquisition and patient retention is a time intensive process. But it can be made more efficient if your platform has built-in digital communication tools.
Though you might still occasionally rely on direct mail (paper) communication you could increase productivity by being able to track your campaigns from within your platform.
Maximize your practice’s innovative potential by maximizing available dental practice management software capabilities
As earlier referenced, the tip-of-the-iceberg is often associated with those above the waterline “costs” related to traditional practice management software.
For example, desktop practice management software can require a significant up-front investment. And the costs often increase from there for necessary upgrades.
- Support and maintenance fees beyond the initial introductory period
- Update fees for future improvements
- Hardware and related server fees
- Additional software required by servers
- Data recovery backups
- Security and lock-down measures
- IT staff dependence (in-house and external)
- Reporting and analytics (staff reliant)
Those and more could be why a dental practice management software upgrade - especially one that can keep you on the edge of innovative patient care - might involve a cloud-based platform.
For the most part cloud-based dental practice management software is a predictable investment. Specifically, a system like Denticon fully includes all the above mentioned features and benefits of a traditional desktop, server reliant system.
And some requirements such as IT staff are not necessary. Plus, reporting and analytics are resident in the platform further reducing staff involvement.
You might find the cloud solution like Denticon to be a more seamless and low maintenance platform to keep up with the rising demands of dental patient care.
- Monthly subscription rate is predictable
- Data hosted in the cloud is remotely and securely accessible
- Savings compared with a “legacy” system can total an average of 40%
It makes sense to look below the surface and see the massive potential of upgrading to a cloud-based dental practice management solution.
Your patient care will likely improve. Your team efficiency will likely increase. And you’ll be able to innovate when necessary as dentistry evolves now and in the future.